Militia Member's Post-Apocalyptic Book Resembles Oregon, But Ends With A Bloodbath
In August, LaVoy Finicum — one of the men occupying a wildlife preserve in Oregon — published Only by Blood and Suffering: Regaining Lost Freedom. The novel is about many of the same issues raised in Oregon, but culminates in a series of brutal gunfights and killings.
Five days after a group of armed militia members and ranchers took over a federal wildlife refuge in rural Oregon, one of the occupiers sat outside in the cold and said he'd rather die than go to jail.
"There are things more important than your life and freedom is one of them," LaVoy Finicum told NBC News.
The comment from the 54-year-old Mormon rancher from Arizona was not necessarily unusual for the standoff, but it is significant for another reason: It might as well have come straight out of Finicum's bloody, post-apocalyptic novel, Only by Blood and Suffering: Regaining Lost Freedom.
Finicum's book, published in August and reviewed this week by BuzzFeed News, tells the story of the Bonham family, Utah-based ranchers living in the near-future when a nuclear attack — possibly from Russia or China — has precipitated social collapse. The first chapters recount how the Bonhams converge on the family homestead — witnessing murder, rape, and cannibalism along the way — while the later portions are about a "war" between well-armed, well-prepared ranchers and their short-sighted neighbors and government agents.
The ranchers, and particularly protagonist Jake Bonham, are the heroes of the story as they take a stand against tyranny — and shoot many of those who oppose them.
As a work of fiction, it's not necessarily a given that everything in the book is a reflection of the author's views. BuzzFeed News reached out to Finicum about the novel but was told he would be unable to discuss it until the situation at the wildlife refuge was resolved.